Hayden sophomore Jorge Valdez attempts to drive past Vail Christian’s Zack Linder while going to the basket in the first half of Tuesday night’s game in Hayden.

Photo by John F. Russell

Hayden sophomore Jorge Valdez attempts to drive past Vail Christian’s Zack Linder while going to the basket in the first half of Tuesday night’s game in Hayden.

Hayden boys basketball runs past Vail Christian, 78-54

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— In the midst of its most important week of the season, the Hayden High School boys basketball team reeled off another win Tuesday, running past Vail Christian, 78-54.

The Tigers, 11-1 overall, out-rebounded the Saints, 50-22, and had four players score in double figures.

“We have to rebound like that, especially when we are not playing exactly error-free basketball,” said Tigers coach Mike Luppes, whose team had 20 turnovers. “The boards are a big key for us against this team. They shoot a good percentage, so we can’t give them second-chance points.”

Hayden jumped out to an early 12-3 lead and led 33-19 at half, holding Vail Christian to 6-of-28 from the field.

“We’re a small team, and we know that,” Saints coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “So we play full court and have to shoot the jump shot. When you’re off, it makes that tough.”

Vail Christian didn’t give up easily, however. After Hayden had extended its lead to 42-22 early in the third, the Saints started to chip away. Vail Christian had cut it to 50-33 at the end of the third quarter and opened the fourth with a 13-3 run to get within 56-46 with 4 minutes, 16 seconds left in the game.

The Tigers responded and put the game away in the closing minutes.

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Hayden sophomore Mark Doolin looks to shoot past Vail Christian’s Gunnar Wilson in the first half of Tuesday night’s game. Hayden won, 78-54.

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Hayden's Brandon Ray looks to pass to a teammate during in the first half of Tuesday night's boys basketball game in Hayden.

Graig Medvesk led all scorers with 25 points. He also had eight steals and seven assists. Mark Doolin added 15 points, Ben Williams chipped in 13 points, and Brandon Ray had 15 points off the bench.

Hayden’s Jorge Valdez grabbed 20 rebounds. Robbie Bowles led the Saints with 20 points, while Fernando Hernandez had 18.

“They have two of the best guards in the league,” Kuhns said. “I like our guards, but their guards are good. They don’t have any weaknesses, and that’s what makes them tough.”

Vail Christian next plays at 6 p.m. Thursday at North Park. Hayden gears up for two more big games. The team plays at 6 p.m. Friday at Plateau Valley and at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at home against Paonia.

Game statistics

Hayden 78, Vail Christian 54

■ Score by quarters

Vail Christian: 11-08-14-21—54

Hayden: 18-15-17-28—78

■ Scoring summary

Vail Christian: Fernando Hernandez 7 2-2 18, Teller Emmer 0 0-0 0, Robbie Bowles 6 2-2 20, Gunnar Wilson 0 0-0 0, Zack Linder 2 1-2 4, Granger Moch 5 0-0 11, Branden Currey 0 0-0 0, Nigel Johnsen 0 0-0 0, Austin Ellsworth 0 0-0-0. Totals 20 5-6 58.

Hayden: Hunter Johnston 1 0-0 3, Graig Medvesk 9 3-3 25, Ben Williams 7 0-0 13, Jorge Valdez 3 0-4 6, Mark Doolin 7 1-2 15, Brandon Ray 6 0-0 12, Dayton Dowling 1 0-0 2, Brian Hoza 0 0-0 0. Totals 34 4-8 78.

3-pointers: Vail Christain  (9) — Bowles 6, Hernandez 2, Moch. Hayden (6) — Medvesk 4, Williams, Johnston.

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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